The Good Kind Of Boasting

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I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice. 

Psalm 34:1-2

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Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord

Jeremiah 9:23-24

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Narcissists boast, and if you listen long enough, even covert narcissists will boast.  They frequently boast about what they have done, but might also boast about what others have done in a way that still gives them credit – that they influenced or caused it to happen in some way.

Because narcissists have a self-centered rather than God-centered view of everything, what narcissists will not do is give God the credit He deserves.  They do not realize that everything that anyone is able to do ultimately has God’s enablement as the foundation.

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36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. 

Romans 11:36

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It is virtually impossible for someone with strong narcissist tendencies to boast in God and give Him credit for an accomplishment. It’s quite normal to NOT hear others give God credit for things, even in church, but when someone overtly and consistently gives themselves credit for everything, they are giving you a clue that they may be a narcissist.

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A Little Anecdote On Dealing With Narcissists

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Many years ago I hosted a business colleague from another country.  While driving to visit a company facility he told me a little story that illustrated a way to deal with narcissists.  The colleague was from a little country next to a big country that spoke the same language.  The larger  mother country was known for being very prideful and while in decline still envisioned themselves as great.  Other countries around this big country used to describe them as having a “prestige imperative”.  In other words decisions the big country made were based on whether it made them appear to be a great country or not.

The colleague from the little country told me that the way the little country – who was looked down on by the big country – used to treat people from the big country was to “tell them they’re the king and then take their money”.  The people from the big country would be so wrapped up in the exaltation that they would be blind to everything else.

The point of this story is that many times a narcissist will put so much emphasis on their self-exaltation that they are oblivious to the prudent steps in their lives which actually make for successful living.

This is one application of the Proverb

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Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. 
Proverbs 18:12
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Be Still My Soul

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NOTE:  This is the last day for the free Kindle book giveaway of “Time To Prepare:  Signposts On The Road To The End”.  This offer ends midnight tonight, Pacific Time.  No strings attached.  

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Some music (but not a lot) has great theology embedded.   Last week I heard for the first time in a long time a song with great, Biblically-based words – Be Still My Soul, set to the melody “Finlandia”.

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Be Still My Soul (Lyrics)

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​Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

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Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice, who ruled them while He dwelt below.

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Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened in the veil of tears,
then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
from His own fullness all He takes away.

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Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

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God’s Plan For A Purpose Of Love

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We wrestle through much of our lives, often too busy to think deeply about what is going on.  But, occasionally when we face a uniquely difficult situation we may ask ourselves “why”.  Why did God “allow” this problem?  Why is my life the way it is?  We may look at the bigger picture by asking “why did God design life the way He did?”.   The following is not an exhaustive discussion, but something to consider.

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As you ponder, a key piece is to understand that God has a fundamental plan for a purpose of love, for everyone.

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….. In all wisdom and insight He [God] made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him [Jesus] ……….. who (God) works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:8-12

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Ephesians 1:8-12 explains clearly that God has a plan – for you, me, everyone – for a purpose of love – “the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention”.   This plan is not just spoken of in Ephesians 1.  Isaiah talks about God’s wonderful works, based on His plans formed long ago (i.e. – before Creation), with perfect faithfulness (fully consistent with His nature, including His goodness).

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O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

Isaiah 25:1

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To arrive at this plan, God thought through every possibility which could exist (“in all insight” – think trillions X trillions X trillions) and chose the optimal one (“in all wisdom”) which would accomplish His purpose of love.  And He executes everything, down to the tiniest detail, according to the plan which he has created (“works all things after the counsel of His will”).

The essence of God’s nature is love, so any plan consistent with that nature would be a plan formed and executed from His heart of love.

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“God is love” – 1 John 4:8

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The centerpiece of this plan is the ultimate demonstration of His love (“which He purposed in Him [Jesus]”) through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to save His enemies from the consequences of their actions.

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For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

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To emphasize again, God – out of His core nature of love and an overflowing desire to express that love – came up with the single best plan that would most fully demonstrate that love.  And that plan would be to die for worthless, far-beneath-Him enemies to save them from what they deserved and to replace that with the highest standing possible as eternal citizens of Heaven.

The end of all of this is that we will praise Him for his manifold excellence (“praise of His glory”) which He has shown in every possible way – and of which we have been made a prime beneficiary.  While God’s plan for a purpose of love is general (“for God so loved the world” – John 3:16), it is also specific to you and specific to me.

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When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

John 21:18-22

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When we ask why God is allowing a narcissist to wreak havoc in our lives, we can be confident in our belief that it is not random – there is a much bigger plan in play, and the essence of that plan is love.  The proof of God’s goodness is Jesus’ death on the cross for us.  And God makes it clear that if He was willing to do that, why would He not shower us with other demonstrations of His goodness?

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What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?   

Romans 8:31-32

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It is impossible for me or anyone else to tell you what God’s plan for a purpose of love is for you.  God is weaving together millions of millions of life circumstances specifically for you.  While the broad themes might be similar, your life and God’s plan for your life is one-of-a-kind.  I have an identical twin brother, and we have a lot in common in our life trajectories – but our lives are not at all the same.  My wife’s life and my life are very different, even though they are lived together.

Why this way?  God’s BIG plan was realized through the singular most important event in history, but the billions x billions of demonstrations and outflowing of that plan through the wide variety of our individual lives further displays God’s glory like additional facets of a diamond.  An 16-sided diamond is good, but a 10,000-sided diamond far more glorious in the light it reflects.

Of course, those who do not believe but reject God and His love have a very different outcome.  They forfeit much of God’s goodness in this present life (they still receive His common goodness given to all mankind), and more importantly experience His wrath reserved for those who reject Him.

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The Key To Peace

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When we are in a difficult and stressful situation, we want solutions.  But it would also be nice to have peace, and even joy in the middle of the situation.  We will try to address joy in another blog post, but let’s start with attaining peace.  Is there a consistent way to have peace even when under stress?

Psalm 131 explains how:

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Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever. 

Psalm 131

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Key principles in this Psalm show us how to be at peace regardless of our circumstances

  1. It starts with a humble heart

Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; 

Psalm 131:1

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What is humility?  One working definition is that it is clearly seeing God’s greatness, while at the same time recognizing our lack of greatness – our deep need in every area of life.  Humility goes further to demonstrate our recognition of our needs by going to God for them instead of taking things into our hands.  Humility also recognizes that our fellow man is in the exact same position as us, and rather than looking down our noses we assist them through encouraging them to look to God while at the same time helping them to the extent that we can.

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2.  A humble heart leads us to let God be God, not attempting to take His place

Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me. 

Psalm 131:2

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Psalm 131 lists 2 things not to be involved with, leaving one thing that we should focus on.  The 2 things to not involve ourselves with are:

  1. “Great matters” – includes things which God and only God can orchestrate – this ranges from the geopolitical affairs of the world, to the weather, all the way down to how other people behave
  2. “Things too difficult for me” – includes things beyond our ability to control.  Can you change your spouse?  No, only God can do that.  Can you control every circumstance of your life?  No.  You CAN work hard, take personal responsibility, develop your personal character, and manage your personal response to others.  But many parts of your life are in God’s hands, not yours.

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Not involving ourselves in these 2 things leaves us free to focus on what remains – things that God has made my responsibility.  The implication is – “do what you can and should, and trust God for the rest”.

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Focusing on our responsibility and leaving the rest to God requires us to truly trust Him….

    • His 100 percent love for us,
    • His 100 percent knowledge and wisdom in guiding our situation,
    • His 100 percent power to execute His wise plan for us from His heart of goodness
    • His 100 percent consistency and faithfulness

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This is what Proverbs 3:5-6 talks about when it says,

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

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Trusting in God means that we do not take HIS things into our own hands, which often makes things worse and results in a life where we feel that we are careening off the walls.

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God does give us prayer as a means to link His will with our hearts, and to give us an outlet for the anguish of our needs.  God’s goal in EVERY situation is for us to know Him more, so that we more clearly see His greatness.  Taking every need to Him in prayer is a key to doing this.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:6-7

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Leaving God’s things to God leads to peace and contentment.  Psalm 131 describes it this way.

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Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me. 

Psalm 131:3

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Dealing With Bullies

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In our previous post we discussed how insolently proud, narcissistic bullies will use a position of power to coerce compliance on the part of others through bullying tactics.  Sadly, until Jesus returns to set everything right, this will be part of the world we must navigate.

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How do we deal with the bullies that inevitably cross our paths?  Here are options we have:

  1. Avoid them – bullies may have the upper hand on their turf, but who says we have to stay on their turf and play their game?
  2. Try a power play – sometimes we’re in a position to “fight back”
  3. Get our “big brother” – sometimes we can recruit someone stronger (the image of bringing your big brother to the playground) to defend us

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I had a friend tell me the story of his children bullied on the school bus on the way to school.  One morning he got on the bus and told the bullies “This is going to end.  The only question is how much pain you are going to take before you stop, because I will do whatever it takes until you stop”.  In the face of what the bullies knew was an unwinnable battle, they stopped their bullying.

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What if none of the above three options are available to us?  We can take a bigger view of the situation and invite God to be our defender and protector.

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Secular Thoughts On Dating A Narcissist

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This blog started as a result of a situation with a narcissist which led me to cry to God for “Help!”  God’s process of answering that prayer began with leading me first to the secular definition, traits, and tactics.  I thought, THIS is what I’m dealing with.  After that I thought, “surely God says something about it”, and the research for this blog commenced.

The secular world does a good job of observing and describing narcissistic traits – as those are readily apparent to everyone to see.  The difference between the secular and Biblical perspectives lie in 1.  what is the cause, 2.  what are possible solutions, and 3.  how do you deal Biblically with them?

In some cases, the right answer is to “avoid” them (where this applies is discussed in the post Dealing With Narcissists – It Depends on the Relationship).

This is particularly appropriate in dating relationships.  We have a friend who was recently badly hurt dating a narcissist.  This friend constantly felt bad, and did not know why.  I just shared with him an article I found @ https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/am-i-dating-a-narcissist.

Here are some highlights

11 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

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Narcissists Will Never Celebrate Your Success (Because They’re Jealous)

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You may occasionally be surprised when a narcissistic “friend” fails to be happy for, or even acknowledge, some accomplishment in your life.  An exception might occur if they have already done the same thing before you, or at a higher level than you.  In that case, your accomplishment provides them with the opportunity to boast about what they did first or better.

Two examples from narcissists in the Bible illustrate this point:

The first came from Jesus’ parable of the “prodigal son”, where Jesus described the narcissistic brother of the lost son this way as the prodigal son returned:

 

“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’

But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you never gave me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;

Luke 15:25-29

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The older brother – who owned the full remaining inheritance after his little brother squandered his portion – was focused on what he did not get instead of celebrating his brother’s return.

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Another prime example is the Pharisees’ unwillingness to acknowledge the Messiah – Jesus – when He came.  They were jealous of His success and chided each other for losing their status among the people,

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For this reason [the healing of Lazarus] also the people went to meet Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign.  So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not accomplishing anything; look, the world has gone after Him!”

John 12:18-19

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in another instance, instead of being happy when a man was healed on a Sabbath (John 5:1-18), the Pharisees immediately began to criticize that it had happened on the Sabbath – looking for some spurious reason with which to undermine the miracle.

Failure to acknowledge another’s success – or going further to tear down or undermine it fits with the narcissistic modus operandi – in the insolent pride of their heart they must be first, best, top dog, ahead of you.  Everyone else’s purpose is to support their exaltation – and nothing less can be tolerated.

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In contrast to the Pharisees, John (the Baptist) – whom Jesus described as the greatest man who ever lived (Matthew 11:11) – readily deferred to Jesus when He came on the scene:

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And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing and all the people are coming to Him.”  John replied, “A person can receive not even one thing unless it has been given to him from heaven.  

You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’  He who has the bride is the groom; but the friend of the groom, who stands and listens to him, rejoices greatly because of the groom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.  

He must increase, but I must decrease. 

John 3:26-30

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To those who have experienced this – we need not worry.  God sees and rewards actions which flow out of a right heart of love, and even if a narcissist ignores, discounts, or destroys your accomplishment in the eyes of man, God will have the last say – as He always does.

We do not need to defend ourselves or make sure we are acknowledged or recognized – God will take care of that in His way and in His time.  Ultimately God wants others to see that the true accomplishment was Him working in our lives – demonstrating it in a way that points people to Him, so that they can also experience His love and goodness for them.

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Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 

Matthew 5:16

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BOOKS FOR THE SOUL

 

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Narcissists Are “Ungenerous”

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Out of their insolent pride and selfishness, and their “me first” attitude, narcissists lack a generosity of spirit.  Let’s call them “ungenerous”.  They believe that “charity begins at home” – and should mostly stay at home.   In other words, “me first”, and then you might get some of the left over crumbs if they feel magnanimous.

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The insolently proud Pharisees (see here ) exemplify this.  Jesus said to them,

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 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 

Matthew 23:23-24

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Jesus was saying that the Pharisees scrupulously kept the tiniest letter of the law, while ignoring the things most on God’s heart – justice, mercy, and true faithfulness to God.  Also implied is an underlying motive that the Pharisees did not want to give to God any more than was absolutely required.

In Mark 7 Jesus also challenged the Pharisees for using a loophole in their traditions to keep from offering help to their parents, refusing the most basic element of generosity.

But even though narcissists are ungenerous, they still want to be seen as generous.

Jesus called the Pharisees out for making a big show of the few coins they would give to the poor – fake generosity done in a manner to get maximum attention.  He then used them as a counter-example to explain that genuine, quiet generosity is the path to true reward.

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“Take care not to practice your righteousness in the sight of people, to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, so that they will be praised by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your charitable giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 

Matthew 6:1-4

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In Acts, the narcissistic Ananias and Sapphira also wanted to quietly limit their generosity while appearing to be generous.

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It is easy to understand the narcissist’s lack of a generous spirit.  Their self-exaltation always believes that they deserve more than others, deserve the best, deserve the first of everything.  But there is a deep fallacy in their thinking.

While they may mentally assent to God’s glory, in their hearts they either

    • Fail to truly understand God’s limitless love, wisdom, and power (they believe the economic pie is limited and therefore they must get whatever they can for themselves)  OR
    • Fail to truly understand that God is a rewarder of those seek Him and put Him first (Hebrews 11:7)  OR
    • Want to live life their way, according to their rules – forfeiting God’s blessing and forcing them to grab whatever they can in compensation.

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Their failure – in their hearts – to recognize, acknowledge, or submit to God as GOD – with His unlimited knowledge, love and power – makes them grab whatever they can.  This is in contrast to those generous in spirit willing to let go and give out of love – trusting the God of unlimited generosity and resources to make everything good in the end.

In contrast to the ungenerous narcissists, Jesus said,

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Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” 
Luke 6:38

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A Great Example

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I came across something so compelling I just had to share.

I saw a small fraction of the Olympics, including the women’s 400 meter hurdles won in world record time by Sydney Maclaughlin.  I then heard that she was a believer in Jesus, and came across this quote from her Instagram page:

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“Let me start off by saying, what and honor it is to be able to represent not only my country, but also the kingdom of God. What I have in Christ is far greater than what I have or don’t have in life.

I pray my journey may be a clear depiction of submission and obedience to God. Even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it doesn’t seem possible. He will make a way out of no way. Not for my own gratification, but for His glory. I have never seen God fail in my life. In anyone’s life for that matter. Just because I may not win every race, or receive every one of my heart’s desires, does not mean God had failed. His will is PERFECT.

And He has prepared me for a moment such as this. That I may use the gifts He has given me to point all the attention back to Him. “

(https://www.instagram.com/p/CSMa9_mrhQU/)

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YES !!!

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God knew Sydney’s heart and her testimony – including her willingness to genuinely give God the glory – and provided her a platform so that HE would be made known to a much broader audience.

The narcissistic approach is to exalt ourselves first, with God possibly benefitting from OUR reflected glory as a secondary consideration.

But the non-narcissistic, humble approach is to “go low” in our hearts, seek to honor God first, and then let Him decide how He wants to use it – whether very visibly like Sydney Mclaughlin, or invisibly in a way that will only be revealed in eternity.

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Time To Prepare

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Are we there yet?

A friend recently surprised me at lunch by saying that many of his friends actively discussed the approaching return of Christ.  I thought I was alone in feeling that we’re getting close.  Could we actually be at the end?

How are we to know?  Which of the rapture positions are correct – pre-trib, post-trib, or pan-trib (it will all pan out in the end)?  And how do we prepare for what’s coming our way?

Until now we had the luxury to debate what the Scripture says, but at the actual end that debate crashes into reality.   When we are close to God’s destination our views will have real-world implications on how we proceed, and how to prepare.

God has provided “trip instructions” on the road to the end.  And He has provided a key signpost which will tell us which set of instructions are correct.  We are announcing a new book outlining those signposts, especially the one which will tell us that it really is “time to prepare”.

 

Click on the book

click for link to Amazon Books

 

As the title says, Time To Prepare:  Signposts On The Road To The End outlines

  • the Biblical signposts on the road to the end
  • the key signpost that will tell us which side of “the debate” is actually true
  • practical Biblical advice for what’s coming our way

 

 

 

 

 

 

The clear Biblical perspective in these pages will give you a solid base, and hope, for what looks to be a bumpy ride ahead.

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Actions Speak Louder

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Most of you have heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”.  This well-worn phrase from the past, like many others, actually has a Biblical foundation.  Consider these for example,

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By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;    I John 2:3-4

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John’s point is that the proof of your what’s in your heart is in what you do, not in what you say.  If you say something and do the opposite, it is what you do that counts.

Titus said the same thing;

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They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.     Titus 1:16

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As did James

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What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?   James 2:14-16

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No matter what they may claim, a narcissist’s functional (actual) philosophy is just the opposite.  They believe that what they claim is what really counts.

David accurately described them in Psalm 12

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They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
The tongue that speaks great things;
Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”   Psalm 12:2-4

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Narcissists believe that they can achieve what they want through words, even if those words have no underlying substance.

A narcissist may get away with this “all talk, no action” approach for awhile, but it will catch up with them at some point.  They may fool some people for awhile, or jump from person to person to avoid being found out, but as always God has the last say in everything.

He sees their act, knows the lack of substance, and makes the final judgment based on actions, not words.

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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.     Matthew 7:21-23

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The Proof Of Everything

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Let’s take a little side trip here for a small discussion on the biggest of topics.  You will soon see it is very relevant to our discussion on insolent pride and narcissism.

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Every of life’s deepest challenges drives us to three most basic of questions:

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  1. Is there a God?
  2. Who is He (His nature, and attributes)?
  3. Does He have the wisdom, power, and love to care and help with things in my life?

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As we go about our daily lives, commuting to work, going to the grocery store, watching the game, or planning our next vacation, as we look out the window at gray skies, as we read the mostly awful and contentious news, it is difficult to relate God to our stress-filled and sometimes tedious lives.

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We do not see Him, we see the mess around and in us, and yet we are supposed to place Him at the center of how we operate?  We are supposed to respond in kindness to crummy people?  It would sure be nice to know that what we base our lives on is actually real, and not a figment of our imagination – as many people seem to think.  Some reliable proof of the existence and character of God would be nice.

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In fact, God has given us proof.  The first, general proof is in nature, or Creation.  While there are non-stop efforts to explain away often obvious facts, the creativity and detail of the world above and around us screams that there is a Creator.  The night sky in the Rocky Mountains reveals this small corner the Milky Way galaxy.

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How can you consider the hundreds of billions of  these galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars – suns like ours, and not wonder where it all came from?  Scientists have tried to explain it all, apart from God, with a big bang theory, but still cannot get to the ultimate origin.  What came before the Big Bang?  Theories always hit a limit of understanding with respect to everything we see.  The more we know about eyes, cells, everything visible and even invisible – the more difficult it is to believe that it happened by chance.  This discussion is far beyond the scope of this blog.

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But there is an even more inescapable proof of the reality, love and power of God.  The sad fact is that everyone dies – a final and irreversible death.  Do you personally know anyone who was dead for multiple days, and then came back to life?  The ultimate proof that God is real is the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His death.   The importance of Jesus’ resurrection as a proof of the reality of God is one reason God made sure it was a well-documented fact.  There are several sources that discuss this proof, such as here

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If Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is proof of God’s existence – and power – then the events that led to Jesus death are proof of His love.

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But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

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He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?   Romans 8:32

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And this love is intimate and personal.

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O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.    Psalm 139:1-10

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For everyone struggling with a narcissist in their lives, the reality of a wise, infinitely powerful, and personally loving God changes everything.

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Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally.

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Narcissist Traits – No Limit To Their Kingdom Building

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One characteristic of true narcissists / those with insolent pride is that there is no limit to their desire for being exalted by others.   They are the ultimate “kingdom builders”, with the goal of showing their “greatness”.  The only thing limiting them is their opportunity.  That is why classic narcissists like Hitler and Napoleon would could be relatively obscure, but when given the opportunity would move quickly to create the biggest kingdom possible – at the expense of many other people, of course.

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Habakkuk 2:4-5

“Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith.
“Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man,
So that he does not stay at home.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
And he is like death, never satisfied.
He also gathers to himself all nations
And collects to himself all peoples.

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As the ultimate narcissist, this very much applies to Satan.  Satan’s goal is to gather to himself all nations, and collect to himself all people – to himself and away from God – even though Satan knows full well that those people will be utterly destroyed as a result.   (See here for the first step in not falling into Satan’s trap)

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Click here for a short discussion of the first steps to know God personally

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  • Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here
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Book Announcements

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Davidson Trust Publishing is announcing the following books:

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“Lot’s Choice” – just released in print and on Kindle.

“Lot’s Choice” is a short book triggered by a discussion our church home group had a few months ago on the chapter “He Hesitated” from JC Ryle’s book  “Holiness”.  “Lot’s Choice” discusses the essential criteria for making decisions good for our lives, while avoiding the unforeseen outcomes of trying to have it both ways.  It is a straightforward case study – easily used for personal Bible study or for group discussions from youth to adults.

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In the works are two additional books.

  • “Do Not Worry About Tomorrow:  A Biblical Perspective On God’s Provision”
    • Release date – February 28, 2020

 

  • “Signposts:  On The Road To The End of History”  (working title)
    •  Expected release date – June 2020
    • A book that outlines
      • the prophetic signposts we are currently witnessing,
      • what they mean
      • how to prepare for what is to come

 

 

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